Formerly named Punta Raisi after its location, and later renamed Falcone-Borsellino, the second airport of Sicily, after Catania, is generally known as Palermo Airport and has the IATA code PMO. It is located 35km west of the island’s capital city of Palermo.
In 2017, the airport saw 43,658 aircraft movements, around 77% of which were domestic flights, and handled 5.75 million passengers. Around thirty airlines fly to sixteen domestic destinations and over fifty international destinations in twenty countries.
Terminal Building & Facilities
The single terminal building handles both domestic and international arrivals and departures. The baggage reclaim and arrivals area is on the ground level. The check-in area is on the first floor. There are twenty-six check-in desks and a number of self-service, quick check-in points. The boarding area on the second floor has five gates with airbridge access and the others have bus or pedestrian access to the airport apron.
Spread around the terminal building are seven outlets for hot and cold food and drink with bars, restaurants and snack bars. The majority of the eight shops are in the first-floor boarding area, selling a variety of souvenirs, fashions, sunglasses, books, magazine and newspapers. The duty-free store has alcohol, cigarettes, perfumes and gifts at cheap prices.
In addition, there is a bank, bureau de change and pharmacy in the check-in area. Bank cash machines are located throughout the terminal. The car rental desks can be found in the arrivals hall. Information counters, lost and found and first aid are all clearly signposted.
Unlimited free Wi-Fi can be accessed throughout the terminal building and there are charging points for mobile devices in the boarding area.
For people with reduced mobility (PRM) or special needs, there is assistance available, which needs to be requested from your airline, ideally at the time of booking, but at least forty-eight hours in advance of arriving at the airport. A special assistance lounge signed “Sala Amica” is also available for the comfort of PRM.
Parking & Public Transportation
The airport has two public car parks. The short-term car park, P2, is just outside the terminal building and the first fifteen minutes are free. For long-term parking, P3 is 500 metres away with a free shuttle bus service to and from the terminal. Prices are available here.
Twelve car hire companies have offices at Palermo Airport. There is a separate parking area for rental cars.
To get to and from the airport, the following public transportation services are available:
- Train - There is a train station at the airport from which the Trinacria Express links the airport to Palermo every thirty minutes. The station is underneath the airport. More information is available here.
- Bus - Four bus services operate from the airport. The routes run to Palermo, Trapani, Agrigento, Porto Empedocle, Sciacca and Ribera. Find out more information here.
- Taxi - The taxi Rank is directly outside the arrivals area of the terminal building. More information on the fares are available here.
In 1953, it was decided that the former military airport at Bocca di Falco, at that time Italy’s third busiest airport, could not be expanded to cope with the growing passenger numbers, so a new airport was to be constructed.
There were two possible sites for a new airport and the location of Punta Raisi was chosen. It was a controversial choice because of the distance from Palermo and the prevailing weather conditions which can often be very windy. The objections were overcome and Punta Raisi Airport opened to the public in 1960.
After a few months, the turbulent weather conditions did cause some problems for planes landing on the east-west runway, and another south-west to north-east directional runway was built.
The new terminal building was completed in the 1990s.
The airport was renamed Falcone-Borsellino in honour of two judges who dedicated their lives to trying to break the grip of the mafia in Sicily, and who were both murdered in 1992.